The Oregon Employment Department is putting into place a new program designed to help low income, unemployed Oregonians by allowing unemployed Oregonians who were working in low-wage jobs, to receive unemployment benefits while going to school or re-training, starting Nov. 1. The intent of the program is to assist low income workers in expanding their skills, allowing them to seek work in occupations that provide higher wages.
To be in the program, an individual must qualify for an unemployment claim based on wages of less than $9.24 an hour. In addition, the individual must be attending training designed to prepare him or her for employment in jobs that are in high demand, and where wages are at least $9.24 per hour.
The program does not pay for the training or provide benefits for individuals in training intended to lead to a baccalaureate or higher degree.
"This is one of the many actions taken this legislative session to help Oregon families during this difficult time," said Governor Ted Kulongoski. "This new program will help Oregonians in two critical ways - first with continued financial assistance to help meet their family's basic needs and by providing an opportunity to gain a new skill that will lead to longer term economic security."
The new program was created by the Oregon legislature in House Bill 3483. The program runs from Nov. 1, 2009 to Jan. 1, 2012.
Oregonians who would like more information, or would like to apply for the program, can call the Employment Department's Training Unit at 1-800-436-6191. Information is also available at local WorkSource Oregon Centers and online at www.WorkingInOregon.org .
The Oregon Employment Department estimates 2,400 workers will participate in this program each year.